As peak season draws closer, retailers are having to come up with creative ways to manage queues. Footfall is expected to increase over the coming months, meaning retailers will have to adapt in order to create an enjoyable, yet safe customer experience.
Queueing is inevitable as the number of shoppers increases, particularly on Black Friday and in the lead up to Christmas, so here are Modern Retail’s top tips to stop queues deterring your customers.
How to make the most of your queues:
- Heated or covered areas
If you know your customers will be queueing, allow them to do this comfortably. Consider awnings or heaters to keep waiting customers warm and dry as they wait to enter your store.
- Social distancing markers
Make those in queues feel comfortable by clearly marking distances between customers, reminding people to keep their distance. Safety and making customers feel comfortable to come instore is vital, so make it clear from the outside that this is a priority.
- Promote relevant products
Keep customers entertained in queues, by giving them a sneak peak of what is instore. Make the most of window displays and posters to advertise products to those waiting. Not only does this encourage impulse buys and help to upsell, but it also speeds up people’s buying instore and keeps browsing time to a minimum.
- Highlight alternative methods of shopping
Not everybody has the time or patience to queue, but this doesn’t mean you have to lose their custom. Promote alternative methods of shopping, such as home delivery or click and collect.
- Make the most of QR codes
We’ve seen QR codes put to great use in recent months, but why not use them to wow your customers? Promote your QR codes to those in queues and make the link take them to an online catalogue. From here, shoppers can browse while they wait, or even choose to shop online instead. This technique can enable a fantastic omnichannel experience!
- Get creative with signage
Keep your customers occupied with on-brand, entertaining signage. Consider games, word searches, quizzes and more to prevent boredom setting in while they queue. You should also use signage to simplify shoppers’ experiences, whether you’re reminding them to wear masks, pointing out hand sanitiser or sharing exciting promotions.
- Queue management systems
Many retailers are utilising queue management systems to reduce the amount of time their customers spend waiting. There are countless variations of these systems, however they typically see customers book a time slot or enter a virtual queue and arrive just before they enter the store. The benefits of this include a reduced number of people in queues, improved customer service, happier shoppers, the opportunity to collect consumer data and analytics that can help to understand demand.
These 7 top tips will help you to manage queues effectively, keeping shoppers safe, entertained and engaged as they wait to go instore. Try them out now and make the most of peak season!
Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing. As Modern Retail’s Content Editor, Holly is passionate about helping independent retailers to thrive in today’s ever-changing market.